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Intentional Living

A Reflection By Anne Dunn-Baleilevuka


Picture it, 2020, the year that rocked the world to its core, systems challenged, leaders questioned, people exhausted and in desperate need of hope, love and a resemblance of anything familiar to what we considered normalcy. This was also the year I was reintroduced to best selling author and leadership expert, John Maxwell. I came across a virtual mastermind offer titled “Leading in Crisis” by certified John Maxwell Coach, Ana Laqeretabua, and it was mind blowing. This led to so many moments of checking in on my own self awareness and questions of why I had even signed up for something like this; but four weeks later, the mastermind was complete and my taste for learning more about this leadership journey was craving to say the least.

A few weeks later, she offered another mastermind, but this time it was twelve weeks, an hour and a half long, one day a week and the mastermind was called “Leadershift”. My thoughts raced, was this it? Would this satisfy this crave? Should I sign up? What about my husband? Should we both sign up? I’m not even leading well, how am I supposed to make a whole shift? These and many more filled my thoughts, but I tossed up my hands and did what I’ve often done when different opportunities are presented, I signed up, if it’s not for me than at least I learned something new. And it turned out, it was for me, and I reckon it is for you too. I’m glad I took the opportunity to live on the other side of saying yes to signing up. I had good intentions about joining the mastermind, reading a book, and answering a few participant guide questions, what I didn’t intend on happening was an entire shift and upheaval of what I thought of my own leadership.

And this brings me to telling you a little bit about my 2021 experience so far. I made a commitment like many of us coming into the new year that I would do a, b, c and d. Some I’ve actually kept up with, others have faded by, why? Because having good intentions is not enough. Many of us come into a new year with plans in tact, schedules laid out, and new year resolutions to complete, but then something happens and before you know it, we celebrating the December holidays again. Believe me, I get it, life happens, circumstances change, desire grows in different directions but can I share something with you that radically changed my thought process this year? Having good intentions is not enough.

I use to think that if I intended to do something it meant that I’d eventually get to it so it should matter that at least I intend on getting it done someday, but I learned that there is a massive gap between “I’ll do it someday” and “I will do it today”. The difference is choosing each day to pursue the latter with an action oriented focus. And no, I’m not perfectly executing this either, but I am choosing, each day to turn words of good intentions to intentionally living in every day. How? By being like Nike and attempting to “just do it”. Have I failed? Yes, but I choose to try again the next minute, the next hour and even the next day, because if there’s anything I’ve learned about intentional living, it’s this, living intentionally is not a one time activity, it is a daily, and even moment by moment, choice to do and to be the best I can be to help someone do and be the best they can be too.

In some ways, my journey is just beginning with intentional living. And if the last two quarters of 2021 have anything to offer you, let it be this opportunity to not just have good intentions but actually live intentionally, every single day.

Anne Dunn-Baleilevuka


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